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Can Direct and Indirect Taxes Be Added for International Comparisons of Competitiveness?

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

While it is usually argued that direct and indirect taxes should be added for meaningful international comparisons of country competitiveness, this paper argues that the opposite may be true. It is possible that a country with a high value-added tax needs a high capital income tax to maintain its international competitiveness and vice verca. Which view is correct depends on which combination of the origin, destination, source and residence principles' prevail and whether or not accelerated depreciation is allowed. Using a Heckscher-Ohlin model with international capital movements the paper studies the relevant alternatives in detail.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 1990. "Can Direct and Indirect Taxes Be Added for International Comparisons of Competitiveness?," NBER Working Papers 3263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3263
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sutton, John, 1976. "The Relative Factor Intensities of Investment-and Consumer-Goods Industries: A Note," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 819-821, July.
    2. Whalley, John, 1979. "Uniform domestic tax rates, trade distortions and economic integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-221, March.
    3. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 1985. "The taxation of capital income in an open economy: the importance of resident-nonresident tax treatment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 291-309, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Haufler, 1996. "Optimal factor and commodity taxation in a small open economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 425-442, July.
    2. De Bonis, Valeria, 1997. "Regional integration and factor income taxation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1849, The World Bank.
    3. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1987. "Fiscal Policies and the World Economy; An Intertemporal Approach (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987)," MPRA Paper 20438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jacob Frenkel & Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1991. "International Taxation in an Integrated World," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061430, January.
    5. De Bonis, Valeria, 1997. "Regional integration and commodity tax harmonization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1848, The World Bank.
    6. Gordon, Roger H, 1992. " Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1159-1180, July.

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